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There Are 4 Sleep Chronotypes: Here's What Yours Says About You

Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
Image by LumiNola / iStock
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December 15, 2020

You've got your Myers-Briggs figured out, you know your zodiac sign, but have you ever given thought to your "sleep type"? According to clinical psychologist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., who specializes in sleep and sleep disorders, we all fall into one of four unique sleep chronotypes.

You can take a quiz to find your chronotype here. Once you figure out your type, learn how to optimize it with the following tips:

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The bear type:

Most people fall under the bear chronotype, meaning they wake up and go to sleep with the sun. These folks don't have too much trouble waking up in the morning, and can easily settle in come bedtime. They experience productive mornings but can start to feel a bit drained by midafternoon.

Tips for bears:

If your sleep chronotype is a bear, tailoring your schedule to the sun should work for you, waking relatively early and taking no issue with an earlier bedtime. On top of that, keep in mind that you're usually most productive in the morning, so try to avoid scheduling big tasks in the afternoon.

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The wolf type:

If it were up to wolves, they would sleep until noon every day. And it seems to work for them, as they naturally experience a boost of energy in the late afternoon to early evening. These folks also have no problem getting work done in the later hours of the day; they're true night owls. But unfortunately for any wolf who works a job with an early start, this can lead to lots of grogginess.

Tips for wolves:

"If you wake up not within your chronotype," Breus previously told mbg, "for example, if you were a wolf and you were waking up earlier than a wolf's normal wake-up time, that would make sense as to why you're groggy." To combat morning grogginess, he recommends hydrating as soon as you wake up and getting some exposure to natural light. And as best you can, try to honor that your body naturally wants to wake up later, and save your biggest tasks for later in the day (even after dinner) if possible.

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The lion type:

Lions are your quintessential morning people. They love an early rise, waking up naturally with ease. But as the day goes on, lions can hit a slump and are often ready to get to bed on the early side. As you can imagine, these folks are also known for their productive mornings.

Tips for lions:

Lions can take advantage of light just as wolves can—but in the opposite way. They'll want light exposure later in the day if they want to catch a second wind and stay up a bit later. It's also not a bad idea to avoid important tasks in the afternoon when possible, similar to bears.

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The dolphin type:

And lastly, we have dolphins—the folks who have a hard time both waking up and falling asleep. They may struggle to follow a consistent sleep schedule, and often feel tired during the day. Yet despite that tiredness, they'll often feel energized at night. They may also experience difficulty staying asleep, to the point that they're dealing with insomnia.

Tips for dolphins:

If your sleep chronotype is dolphin, you'll experience the most focus and productivity from midafternoon into the evening, so keep your morning activities light. Additionally, you may need to take breaks throughout the day to recharge, and that's OK! Whether it's a power nap or a quick meditation, taking a few minutes to yourself will help you get back in the zone.

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Sleep tips for every type.

And of course, no matter what chronotype you have, there are a few universal tips we can all use when it comes to getting a good night's rest (and feeling energized during the day). For starters, never underestimate the importance of diet and exercise for getting quality sleep.

On top of that, trying a sleep-promoting supplement like mbg's sleep support+ can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling more rested.* Remember to always give yourself plenty of time to unwind before bed, keep your bedroom around 65 degrees, and try to keep your wake-up time and bedtime as consistent as possible.

We are all capable of getting quality sleep, and if it's something you've been struggling with, understanding your sleep chronotype might just be the key you're missing.

Sarah Regan
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.